Experience Atlanta like a local in the stylish digs of photographer and Georgia native Rob Simmons. His striking, black-and-white nighttime images of the city skyline adorn the walls of his 900-square-foot loft (from $105, via Airbnb) in the heart of Inman Park. The industrial-modern space has sleek design touches like a Noguchi coffee table, raw concrete walls and floors, a balcony that stretches the length of the unit, and a separate bedroom. Pick up provisions at nearby Savi Urban Market, which stocks an impressive variety of gourmet goodies, including wine, beer, and cheese — bring back the nutty Georgia Gouda, from a farm in the southern part of the state ($19/pound).
Make your home base a few steps from one of the South’s premier arts landmarks at the aptly named Artmore Hotel (from $129). Located across the way from Woodruff Arts Center, which encompasses the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the revamped apartment building dates back to 1924, with a Mediterranean-style façade and cheerful courtyard. Rooms have an old-school vibe, with a black-and-white color scheme and pops of red, along with wall art of Hollywood stars (ask for one of the quieter top-floor rooms). After a day of artistic exploration, chill out on a couch at the al fresco cocktail garden in the courtyard with a drink like the Hitchcock ($10), made with Four Roses bourbon, lemon juice, and Champagne.
Keep an eye out for celebs at The Georgian Terrace (from $159), which has drawn film and literary luminaries as one of the South’s most elegant hotels since it opened in 1911. Its star-studded guest list includes F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Disney, and most of the cast of Gone With the Wind, (the party before the film’s premiere was held here). Request one of the renovated premier rooms or suites (from $189) with crisp white duvets, flat-screen TVs, skyline views, and a washer/dryer in some units. Stop into the on-property Livingston restaurant for dinner under soaring white columns and a spectacular chandelier; the menu leans toward inventive takes on heart-of-Dixie dishes, such as free-range chicken-liver gyoza topped with Georgia peanut and cherry sauce ($8), and sorghum and sea-salt brick chicken with turnip greens ($21). Then pop across the street to the historic Fox Theatre, which hosts everything from classic movies to musicals and concerts by the likes of Beck and Aretha Franklin.